A dangerous text: Francis Fukuyama’s mischaracterisation of identity, recognition and right-wing nationalism

Kochi, Tarik (2020) A dangerous text: Francis Fukuyama’s mischaracterisation of identity, recognition and right-wing nationalism. Borderlands e-Journal. ISSN 1447-0810 (Accepted)

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (771kB)

Abstract

Francis Fukuyama’s work on contemporary problems of identity and recognition portrays national and international liberalism as now under significant threat by the global rise of a reactionary and exclusionary identity politics. For Fukuyama contemporary identity politics, taking place as struggles for recognition and manifestations of resentment, are emerging as dangerous, illiberal forms of right-wing populist nationalism. In critiquing Fukuyama’s position I demonstrate how he appropriates the concepts of ‘identity’ and ‘recognition’ and puts these to use to sustain a version of neoliberal rationality and neoliberal politics. Such an appropriation denies the transformative and radical potential of intersubjective recognition and depoliticises and delegitimises any non-liberal claims and struggles of identity politics that might threaten to disrupt neoliberal political order, security and capitalist accumulation. Further, I argue that Fukuyama’s account of identity is dangerous in the way that it legitimises a right-wing nationalist discourse of blame targeted at the mischaracterisation of minority and left-wing ‘identity’ politics. His account is dangerous also in the manner that he detaches a contemporary extremist and right-wing nationalist discourse from the history of a less extreme, though very similar, neoliberal nationalist discourse which, since the 1980s, has mobilised the language of identity politics as a political strategy and weapon against progressive political movements and against the welfare state.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2020 07:10
Last Modified: 18 May 2021 14:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/93776

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update